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Faith of a Child

Faith of a Child

Caring for my mother-in-law the last four months has been hard, but I’ve been so grateful to have my little family during all of it. We’ve leaned on each other and grown together. When I told the kids that their Grandma Glenna had passed away, I told them it was okay to feel sad. Ellen told me “I’m not sad; I’m happy.” When I asked why, she said, “Because she’s with Jesus and she’s going to be alive again.” I’m so grateful…

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What is Normal?

What is Normal?

October was one of those months where I would think, “Life can’t get any crazier than this” and then it would. My job as a middle school freelance educator came to an end at the beginning of the month and our family was ready to get back into a normal groove. Life had other plans though. Two big things happened in October: my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and my grandfather died. Those two things were pretty…

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Leon F. Olsen

Leon F. Olsen

Most of my memories of my grandfather revolve around his library. It was where he was most at home.  He started collecting books at the age of 12. At night, he would climb out of his bedroom window and catch nightcrawlers which he would sell to fisherman. He would make $20-$30 worth of book money a summer. Before he passed, he chose a book to give to each of the grandchildren – as if he were giving each of us…

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Easter 2016

Easter 2016

This year, Easter kind of snuck up on me. I’d spent all of March studying the Atonement and trying to figure out how to teach my Sunday school lesson on Easter Sunday, but hadn’t given hardly any thought (other than to purchase a ham) to celebrating Easter with our family. Literally, the day before Easter Noel and I talked about what we wanted to do. We decided we wanted to try splitting up the secular celebration of Easter (gifts and…

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Traditions in the Making

Traditions in the Making

Every time someone would ask us about our Christmas plans we would say, “We’re staying here – and we’re so happy about it!” As much as Noel and I love our families, we truly despise traveling this time of year (see Top Ten Worst Moments of last year’s Christmas) and are also enjoying figuring out our own traditions. Growing up, my family had a lot of Christmas traditions while Noel’s family wasn’t as committed to specific ways of doing things…

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Getting into the Spirit of the Season

Getting into the Spirit of the Season

I always have to warm up to Christmas. As much as I want it to be the most wonderful time of the year, sometimes it’s hard for me to be very joyful when the roads are icy and everywhere you turn there’s a barrage of commercialism. This year it felt like it took extra effort on my part to really get into the Christmas spirit, but in the end I feel like all the work and soul searching has actually…

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A Vegas Halloween

A Vegas Halloween

Our trips to Las Vegas are never what people imagine. When you’re a parent, a Mormon, and you’re visiting family it’s definitely very different from what most people do in Vegas. Our purpose in going to Vegas was to be there for Noel’s grandma’s 80th birthday and because of the way our flights worked out, we were also there for Halloween. Life was a tad bit crazy leading up to our trip. Noel was out of town for work earlier…

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Back Up and Running

Back Up and Running

There was a time when I would have apologized for a lapse in blogging, but just like how I’ve stopped apologizing for the nearly constant pile of dirty dishes in my sink and for my children not being perfect Stepford children, I won’t be apologizing for this either. For no reason, but every reason I’ve been super contemplative lately about everything and nothing at all and lying low on the internet has been refreshing and glorious. We recently switched web…

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Chutes & Ladders: An Epic Road Trip

Chutes & Ladders: An Epic Road Trip

When we initially planned this trip months ago, it started out as just a little family road trip, but then more and more fun things came up that got added on. I usually like to come up with a story to share or a thread to follow when talking about our adventures, but there is so much I want to share about the last two weeks. Forgive me for this being a little bit journal-y. I’ve highlighted each day with just one…

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Easter 2015

Easter 2015

We’ve had some pretty exciting Easters, and while this one definitely wouldn’t fall into that category, it was nice to have a low-key Easter this year. On Easter morning, the kids came out to find their Easter buckets (yes, buckets). They were excited to get warm weather pajamas, a special gift (a book for Cooper and Hello Kitty silverware for Ellen) as well as a somewhat spiritual movie (and personal favorite) The Prince of Egypt. After reading the Easter story…

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